AAP won’t field MLAs in Lok Sabha elections despite ‘several requests’ from interested lawmakers
AAP’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai acknowledged that the party had received “several requests” from legislators who had shown their interest in contesting the general elections.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said it would not field any of its MLAs in the Lok Sabha elections likely to be held in April-May.
AAP’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai, while making the announcement, acknowledged that the party had received “several requests” from legislators who had shown their interest in contesting the general elections.
“No MLA will be given ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections. There have been a lot of requests, but the top leadership has decided to give chance to new faces,” said Rai, who is also the Delhi labour minister.
Party functionaries, on condition of anonymity, said a minister in the Delhi cabinet was trying hard to get a ticket. Responding to this, Rai said, “It is true. But, the party has decided not to field any of the ministers as well.”
The party, though, had fielded two former MLAs in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Delhi. The capital was under President’s rule at that time. Presently, all seven Lok Sabha MPs in Delhi are from the BJP.
Rai said the party, “in all likelihood”, would announce its list of candidates for Delhi, Haryana and Punjab by the end of this month. “Like we did for the 2015 assembly elections, the party will announce its candidates well in advance. The idea is to get people familiarised with the AAP candidate in their respective areas,” the minister said.
The AAP will contest elections in these three states on its own. Until mid-December last year, the party was in talks with top leaders of the Congress for an alliance. But it ended on a bitter note after AAP was embroiled in a row when a few of its MLAs demanded stripping former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi of his Bharat Ratna.
In Delhi, the AAP, so far, has appointed in-charges for six out of the total seven Lok Sabha seats for the 2019 polls.
While Kejriwal himself declared Atishi and Raghav Chadha’s candidatures for the East Delhi and South Delhi seats, respectively, names for the remaining seats were yet to be announced. Rai said all the names would be announced “by the end of this month” in all likelihood.
The party had put Rajpal Solanki in charge of West Delhi constituency but he resigned from the post citing health issues. Rai said a replacement would be announced shorty.
AAP leaders had earlier said the party would announce names after a review of the preparations by officials in charge of the Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.
According to party leaders, there is a likelihood of most of the in-charges being declared as candidates.